Jester Park

Nature Center


Outdoor Recreation & Wellness Center

Diverse recreational experiences await visitors on 1,675 acres of land, located along the west shore of Saylorville Lake. Additionally, Jester Park is a popular migration stop for large flocks of pelicans and waterfowl that use Saylorville Lake during the fall and spring. Don't forget the binoculars on your next visit to the park. 

Jester Park Nature Center
One of Iowa’s leading nature centers, the Jester Park Nature Center is a gateway to experience Iowa’s natural environment. As a place where education and tourism intersect, this facility provides exceptional value to this region. Serving as the welcome center, portal to Polk County’s family of parks, and Jester Park’s new front porch, tourists, students, educators, families, and others connect through the nature center to the natural playscape and bison/elk exhibit, restored woodlands, Saylorville Lake, and a network of natural trails that will immerse people back into nature.

Outdoor Recreation & Wellness Center
The Outdoor Recreation and Wellness Center, adjacent from the nature center, offers a wide range of outdoor programming through Polk County Conservation, rental equipment, archery and bouldering wall at Jester Park, allowing everyone access to outdoor adventure and fun! 

Bison and Elk Herds
Near the Northwest park entrance, (click here for a map of the area) you will be treated to a vision of the wildlife that were abundant in Iowa more than 200 years ago. The bison and elk herds that live in this wildlife animal enclosure have been popular attractions at Jester for almost four decades.


Jester Park is easily reached by taking Interstate 35/80 exit #127 (Highway 141 West) go north seven (7) miles. Turn right onto NW 121st Street. Drive two (2) miles. Turn Left onto NW 118th Ave. Keep right to continue toward NW 128th Street for .5 miles. Turn right on 128th St.

Jester, Lewis A., Park

12130 NW 128th St.
Granger, IA 50109 

Operating Hours & Seasons

  • Summer Hours (April 1 -October 31) | 6:30 a.m. - 10:30 p.m. 
  • Winter Hours (November 1 - March 31) | Sunrise to sunset
More information on camping can be found on our website at


ALL sites at Jester Park Campgrounds 1 and 2 including first come first serve will close September 5th, 2023 paving upgrades for the remainder of the 2023 season. Reservations for campground 1 for the 2024 season will open 2/1/24, and Campground 2 will open back up as usual for first-come first serve as normal on 4/1/24. Don’t forget to book your spots at our other great campsites at Thomas Mitchell Park, Yellow Banks Park and Chichaqua Bottoms Greenbelt.

Many exciting park and trail improvements are happening in Polk County thanks in part to the Polk County Water and Land Legacy bond referendum that was supported by voters in November of 2021. This may result in closed recreation areas due to construction. We encourage the public to stay involved and updated on these improvements by regularly visiting our website at Bond Updates

A "No Motorized Vessel Zone" is located north of the Mile Long Bridge during April 1 to August 31. During periods of flood storage, restriction may be lifted. Please contact the US Army Corps of Engineers at Saylorville Lake for details. Call 515-276-4656 or visit their website at US Army Corps of Engineers - Saylorville Lake Project